There have been long standing taboos in a traditional office environment; for example, don’t talk about religion or politics and don’t have a romantic relationship with someone you work with at your company.
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Stacy Adams from Vyond, a video animation software company that supports businesses in easily creating corporate videos discusses the astonishing changes from her survey of 1,000 full-time employees in February 2021 with True Global Intelligence. What they discovered is that there are new rules for the post COVID workplace.
Interview with Stacy Adams of Vyond
Stacy explains that these new set of cultural norms that have developed in the past year; “what was considered appropriate or inappropriate at work a year ago has changed almost completely. These new norms require a new understanding from leaders of how to communicate with employees about what’s acceptable at work.”
She gives these examples:
Once taboo subjects like politics and religion have suddenly become acceptable at work: In the last year, perceptions have changed around talking about politics and religion at work, with the number of employees who consider discussing politics a workplace violation decreasing by 23% points in 12 months (from 43% in February 2020 to 20% in February 2021) and religion decreasing by 17% points (from 43% in February 2020 to 26% in February 2021).
The rise of remote work is making workplace romances more acceptable; while having romantic relationships with people in the office was seen as a workplace violation by 52% of respondents in February 2020, now only 20% consider it to be one.
Stacy believes that our workplaces have become much more personal, and with that, the way employees engage with one another has too. She adds that “the pandemic has made many of us realize that the strict workplace norms we operated under for so long are not important in the grand scheme of things. When we’re all working from home and struggling to balance everything – whether it be childcare, creating an office space in a small apartment or home, working alongside multiple roommates, or dealing with mental health challenges brought on by the stress of the pandemic – does it really matter if our Zoom background doesn’t seem “professional”? It doesn’t, and I think that employees have become a lot more accepting of one another and different situations over the past year.”
Image: Stacy Adams